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Help and advice for Wirksworth

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

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  • DOXEY, Jack - O'er Back and on the Hillock. Wirksworth & District Historical Society, 2002. ISBN 0-906753-15-5.

  • DVDReview - Wirksworth: A Town of Stone and Steam. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association, 2006.

  • JONES, Brian - Beyond The Copper Beech. Published by the Author, 2008. No ISBN.

  • PRIESTLEY, Frank - The Wirksworth Saga. Pipers Ash (Chippenham), 2003. No ISBN.

  • Wirksworth in Old Picture Postcards. European Library, 2000. ISBN 90 288 2200 3.


  • The parish was in the Wirksworth sub-district of the Belper Registration District.

  • Census transcripts are online at Wirksworth.Org.

  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:

Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2517 thru 2519 & 2524 & 2542
1891 R.G. 12 / 2750 & 2776


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Wirksworth area or see them printed on a map.

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin.

  • The first Christian church built here is recorded in 653 AD.

  • The Anglican parish church was built in the 13th century on the site of earlier Saxon churches.

  • An excellent photograph of the church is at at Flickr.

  • Gordon GRIFFITHS has a photograph of the Church Interior on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.

Church Records

  • The parish register for 1600 through 1900 is online at Wirksworth Org.

  • The church was in the Wirksworth Deanery.

  • The baptisms at the Free Methodist Church are available at the London Family History Centre covering 1888-1891 and 1912-1914.

  • Gordon GRIFFITHS has a photograph of the Methodist Chapel on Warmbrook Street on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

  • The parish was in the Wirksworth sub-district of the Belper Registration District.

Description and Travel

"WIRKSWORTH is a market-town, in the parish of its name, which is partly in the hundred of Wirksworth, and extending into those of Appletree and High Peak; 139 miles from London, 48 S.S.E. from Manchester, 20 S.E. from Buxton, 14 S. by W. from Chesterfield, the like distance N.N.W. from Derby, 6 N.W. from Belper, and 3 S. from Matlock Bath; situate near to the direct road from the metropolis to Manchester. In Domesday survey it is called Werchesvorde, but, according to vulgar tradition, it took its derivation from the circumstance of malefactors being condemned to work in the lead-mines here, and their labours proving valuable, it was said their work is worth, hence the easy transition to its present mode of spelling."

[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]

Ashleyhay is a hamlet and former township just south of Wirksworth. Passenger rail service ended in 1947 but has recently started up again.

You can see pictures of Wirksworth which are provided by:



Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Wirksworth has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Wirksworth to another place.

Medical Records

  • The Wirksworth Cottage Hospital was established in 1867 and had 7 beds.

  • There was no requirement for archiving patient records. Administrative and financial records will be found int the local Archives office.

  • There are Board of Management minutes at the National Archives.

  • There is a 1946 photograph of the Wirksworth Cottage Hospital on the Brooks Family website.

  • In 1912, Miss Clara WOODCOCK was the matron of the hospital.

  • In 1947 the hospital was taken over and managed as part of the National Health System.

Military Records

  • There is a grey stone plaque War Memorial for World War I and a brass plaque for World War II, both in St. Mary's Church. The names are listed at Wirksworth War Memorial.

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Derbyshire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.

  • This parish of Wirksworth also contained a township called "Wirksworth".

  • This parish was the heart of the ancient Wirksworth Hundred (or Wapentake).

  • Ashleyhay township was in the Appletree Hundred. This township was incorporated as a separate, modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • As a result of the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act reforms, this parish became part of the Belper Poorlaw Union.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Wirksworth petty session hearings at the Town Hall every other Tuesday.

  • Bastardy cases for Ashleyhay would be heard in the Belper petty session hearings every other Thursday.


  • A grammar school at Wirksworth was founded in 1584 by Anthony Gell and others.
    (Ref: A History of Derbyshire, Gladwyn TURBUTT, 1999)